How to Request an Informal Hearing
What is an informal hearing?
An Informal Hearing is a proceeding which allows a Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) participant to dispute an action taken by MSHDA (including termination of assistance, change in voucher size allocation, recalculation of rent, etc.). If a participant makes a timely appeal in response to an action taken by MSHDA, MSHDA will request the Michigan Administrative Hearings System (MAHS) to schedule an Informal Hearing. MAHS will set a hearing date and one of their Administrative Law Judges (ALJ) will preside over the hearing. The ALJ listens to the evidence presented by both the participant and MSHDA and proposes a decision to either uphold or overturn the decision made by MSHDA. The ALJ submits the Proposal For Decision (PFD) by U.S. Mail to all parties within approximately 30 days of the hearing. MSHDA’s Director of Legal Affairs either accepts or overturns the PFD and issues a Notice of Final Decision which is mailed to all parties.
Requesting an informal Hearing
If an action has been taken by MSHDA, a HCV participant will be provided an opportunity to request an informal hearing.
- The participant must completely fill out and return the Informal Hearing Request Form (MSHDA 97) provided to them.
- The participant must mail the completed form to the address listed on the MSHDA notification.MSHDA must receive the completed request for hearing no later than fifteen (15) business days from the date of MSHDA’s Notice.
- The participant may indicate on the Informal Hearing Request if they wish for someone else to represent them at the hearing.
- Upon receipt of the request for hearing, a pre-hearing conference may be scheduled by MSHDA to try to resolve the issue, if appropriate. Otherwise, MSHDA will forward the request to MAHS to schedule a hearing.
- MAHS will notify the participant of the date, time, and location of the scheduled hearing. All hearings are held via telephone conference unless MSHDA or the participant household demonstrates a need for an in-person hearing.
- The participant household has the right to examine any document MSHDA will present as evidence at the hearing. MSHDA will mail a copy of all proposed exhibits seven (7) calendar days prior to a scheduled hearing.If the participant requests any of the documentary evidence prior to this time, the participant must submit a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request in writing to MSHDA’s FOIA Coordinator.
- At its own expense, the participant household may be represented by a lawyer or other representative at the hearing. The participant household must provide MSHDA with the name, address, and phone number of their lawyer or representative no less than ten (10) calendar days prior to the scheduled date of hearing. The following link provides list of places and organizations you can contact for legal aid assistance. http://www.usattorneylegalservices.com/free-legal-aid-Michigan.html.
- Both MSHDA and the participant household must submit all documentary evidence they intend to present at the hearing to all parties (MSHDA, the participant household, and MAHS) no later than close of business seven (7) calendar days prior to the scheduled date of the hearing. If the documents are not presented to all parties within this timeframe, they may not be admitted into evidence at the hearing.
- In order for MSHDA to prevail at a hearing, they must establish, via a preponderance of evidence, that the participant household violated one or more Housing Choice Voucher Program rules, regulations, or policies